I researched all the Grub error 17
references online that I could find, and as I have discovered a temporary quick-fix to work around the problem, I've created this post.
I had a computer with a plug in first HDD in a rack fail. The surprising thing was that ALL plug-in HDDs produced the same error when booting. Therefore, one assumes that it is motherboard or 80channel ribbon cable related.
It looks as though the sudden failure, which caused me to shuffle bootable HDDs in an attempt to get at data on the literally "fixed disk" data storage hdb, did some real nasties.
Pending looking further into it, I've managed on all of them to be able to regularly boot to the first OS on the first HDD (where dual or multiple boot were set up).
I had evaluated the floppy boot loader utility called GaG. The cryptic initials are from the Spanish language - el Gestor de Arranque Grafio
- or in English Graphical Boot Manager
In one of two instances I was also able to boot to a second installation succesfully, although not with another dual boot.
I emphasise that this is a get you out of jail free
(on a temporary basis thingy), to allow you to transfer data around the place, and on MS Windows installations, to use their checkdisk utility to fix file system corruptions.
However I have it installed as a boot loader in place of Grub on one machine and that has run without a glitch in the mode for which its developer intended.
I have it working with MS Windows, DOS, Linux and BSD Unix.
Whatever the fault is will need to be properly fixed asap.
GAG can be found at http://gag.sourceforge.net/
You create a bootable floppy, or a bootable CD in the case of laptops etc that don't have a floppy drive these days. Configuring and using is straightforward. You don't need to understand Spanish